Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Art of War, Araña't Baluarte Style

It's not always rainbows and butterflies, as sung by Adam Levine. Yes, Araña't Baluarte of Gumaca may seem beautiful to the eyes with the smorgasbord of fruits and vegetables and even local pastries and delicacies, bursting in a palette of greens, yellows, reds, indigos, any color you might think of are there. That is, before the patron San Isidro Labrador passes. As soon as he turns his back on the arañas and baluarte... IT'S WAR BABY!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

No, this is not Pahiyas... It's Araña't Baluarte of Gumaca!

Say May 15, San Isidro, and Quezon; and people will automatically say "Pahiyas!" Well, there's life beyond Pahiyas my friends. Guys, I'd like to introduce to you, the Araña't Baluarte Festival.

San Isidro Labrador with San Diego de Alcala Cathedral as background
Yes, it might sound very Spanish, but

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Did Jesus Dance?

I've seen this image of Jesus joining the traditional Good Friday procession in Gumaca, but it's just this last Viernes Santo that I noticed: Is Jesus dancing?

No disrespect or blasphemy intended,

Monday, April 1, 2013

Viernes Santo in Gumaca, Quezon

San Diego de Alcala Cathedral before Palm Sunday
I was initially planning of going to either Paete or the nearer Carcar, Cebu (LOL!) to witness a different semana santa observance there, but I opted to get traditional and spend the long weekend in my hometown Gumaca with my sister.

A not so usual bus scene: an Islam emblem
 instead of the usual rosary

Good thing about traveling during Good Friday is that there are less vehicles,

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Unassumingly Elaborate Macalelon Church

Neatly tucked inside the town of Macalelon is the Immaculate Conception Church. Quaint, but packed with a lot of carvings and bas reliefs, particularly the facade. A definite feast for the eyes.

Immaculate Conception Parish Church. Note the angel-like figures with wings in the second tier, and the wave swirls decorating the main portal. Scroll projections also adorn the pediment.

Monday, March 11, 2013

View from the Top: Conversion of Saint Paul Church

Blame the Moro and Dutch marauders during the 16th and 17th century for this church's magnificent location. Located on top of a hill where one can see the whole town, the sea, and neighboring island of Marinduque stands a church named not after a saint, but an event on the life of a saint.

Conversion of Saint Paul Church
Built in 1817, this house of worship was constructed under Geronimo delos Angeles. Though the town was founded in the same location as early as 1766, it is only after 51 years that the present church was constructed due to the Moro's frequent raiding at that time. Realizing the strategic importance of Maaliw Hill,  and the finding the lost image of St. Paul under a Pitogo tree on the same hill, they decided to settle in, which is now the town of Pitogo, Quezon

Church facade

Sunday, March 10, 2013

San Diego de Alcala Cathedral: Southern Quezon's Last Heritage Frontier

If there's a church that I know almost every nook and cranny, it will be my hometown's crown jewel. Located in Gumaca, province of Quezon, is the seat of the Diocese of Gumaca, the San Diego de Alcala Cathedral.

San Diego de Alcala Cathedral, a National Historical Site
Already registered in the Franciscan annals as early as 1582, Gumaca is considered one of the oldest towns in Quezon. With the town's establishment is the building of the church; a sign of Spain's christianization and declaration of authority.

However, due to frequent moro raidings, the people transferred to town to Silangan, a town in Alabat Island which faces the former town. But moros, and even the Dutch, did not spared the new town. They were attacked and burned by the Dutch in 1664. Once again, they transferred the pueblo to it's former location in Gumaca's shores for good.

An old photo of Gumaca from the Franciscan website archives